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Lightford ensures helping hand for single parents

lightford-singleparentsFamilies collecting child support may soon be able to rely on more consistent and helpful payments thanks to new legislation passing through the Senate today. The measure would allow families collecting child support with one child to receive the first $100 in a month and families with two children to receive the first $200 in a month without that money determining the amount of a family's assistance grant (or TANF).

“Through raising the amount of money a needy family can receive without affecting their assistance eligibility, we are providing single mothers and fathers in Illinois with greater ability to care for their families,” said Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D – Maywood), sponsor of the legislation.

Right now, there exists an economic disincentive to pay child support. By requiring a non-custodial parent to pay such a large amount of child support, while the receiving family only receives a marginal benefit, the receiving family loses out on other assistance that they desperately need. And a consistent child support payment is among the strongest indicators of families leaving temporary assistance through TANF.

“Receiving child support should not hinder a family’s ability to provide for that child,” said Sen. Lightford. “This is sometimes the case in Illinois right now. Allowing struggling mothers and fathers greater access to temporary assistance and a more reliable level of child support, will undoubtedly improve the likelihood that a family’s need for government-funded assistance is indeed temporary.”  

The measure, Senate Bill 730, now goes to the House of Representatives for further discussion.

Sen. Lightford

Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

Senate Majority Leader
4th District


Years served: 1998 - Present (Senate) 

Committee assignments: Assignments (Chairperson); Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Executive; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Supplier Diversity, Special Com. On; Subcommittee on Gov. Operations (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Charter Schools (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: B.A. in Communications, Western Illinois University; M.A. in Public Administration, University of Illinois Springfield; former Village of Maywood trustee; former employee at Secretary of State, Department of Corrections and Central Management Services; longtime champion in the Senate for education, working families and women's issues; lives in Maywood with her family.

Associated Representatives:
La Shawn K. Ford
Emanuel Chris Welch